Emily Tan: A True Queenpin in the Electronic Dance Music Industry

Emily Tan Ice T Coco

From left to right: Emily Tan, Ice-T, and Coco at Schimanski in New York. Photo by Cheyenne Bosco.

Being an incredibly hard-working and driven woman has led publicist Emily Tan into the stratosphere as one of the most sought-after publicists in her field. Tan has been a publicist since 1990, so she’s the go-to woman for all things PR, radio, promotions and more.

Her company, Emily Tan Media Relations has an impressive client roster having represented and currently representing artists such as: Ice-T, Armin van Buuren, Andrew Rayel, Aly & Fila, BT, Markus Schulz, MaRLo, Ferry Corsten, Cedric Gervais, Cosmic Gate, Dash Berlin, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe), Thomas Gold, Ryan Farish, Robbie Rovera, Paul Damixie, Sebastian Dobrincu, Alex M.O.R.P.H, New World Punx, Fatum, Pioneer DJ’s Art Mix Project, and many others.

Emily Tan also has an impressive client brand history having worked with and currently working with companies such as Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub Las Vegas, Marquee New York, Brussels Airlines (official partner of Tomorrowland Belgium), iZotope Inc., and Pioneer DJ.

In my exclusive interview, Emily Tan discusses her exciting new ventures, whom she looks up to, and how she unwinds from her busy day. Find out what Emily Tan’s been up to below.


Emily Tan

Photo by Jim Tremayne of Emily Tan.

Many people don’t realize you have a formal musical background! That’s not common for a publicist. How did this help your career?

‎I studied and played classical piano for eight years. As a music publicist and label owner, it helps to understand keys, chords, harmony, dissonance, song construction, etc.

What was it like going from being a publicist in the fashion and beauty industry to the music industry? What led you to make the switch?

I awoke the day-after September 11th, 2001, vowing ‎to follow my passion and make a change from the fashion industry to the music industry. In both industries, however, I’ve always been a communications professional.

How has social media changed your career and impacted how you advise your clients?

Social media is direct-to-consumer communication, but it should never be confused with actual, fact-based journalism. Social media is just one type of communication tool I utilize for my clients.

The other types of communication are securing editorial coverage‎ in third-party media outlets, issuing press releases, utilizing broadcast media (i.e. terrestrial radio, broadcast television, etc.), record pools, event marketing, music placements in film and TV, and other methods.

Emily Tan

Emily Tan at Dash Radio in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Tommy Capretto.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

It sounds cliché, but I don’t feel like I’m working. It feels like I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing, only I’m getting paid to do it. The music industry is my life.

All my closest friends are colleagues in this industry. In 2002, I met and fell in love with my current husband and soulmate, Jim Tremayne, Editor-In-Chief of DJ Times Magazine. Working in this industry sustains me in so many ways.

What are three mistakes you see media outlets make that drive you a little crazy?

I don’t want to sound overly critical, but it makes me nuts when I read a published piece that’s ridden with typos and incorrect usage of the English language‎! That happens daily. Although to be fair, I find typos in The New York Times, just less frequently.

Many of your clients have referred to you as a “pit bull” or words to similar effect. Armin van Buuren described you as being “like a lion.” ICE-T refers to you as a “shark.” You’ve been called a “killer,” to your face, as a compliment. Whom in business do you admire and look up to? Why?

[laughs] I work hard and I’m very devoted to my clients, especially my long-term clients! I’m persistent. I’m goal-oriented. My mom and dad are “my rock.”‎

Your tour schedule and your workdays are so hectic! How do you unwind?

A few things I enjoy doing to unwind are exercising and reading voraciously. I devour books on quantum theory, biocentrism, and the behavioral sciences.

Emily Tan

Emily Tan backstage at Moonrise Music Festival in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Jim Tremayne.

How do you define success?

Success is maintaining joy and serenity within oneself. This is not always easy to do, but the point is to always try.

You’re launching your own record label under Black Hole Recordings. What can we expect to hear?

My new label is QUEENPIN Recordings, and it’s part of Black Hole Recordings.‎ I’m grateful to Arny Bink for this amazing opportunity, and I’m excited to be able to release a wide range of electronic dance music. The first releases will be announced soon!

You’re not the typical publicist in that you also do radio promotions, occasionally tour manage, and you’ve ‎expanded into artist management. Plus, you’re now also a label chief with QUEENPIN Recordings. You really go all-the-way in looking after your clients! How do you manage?

‎I commit to my clients as much as they commit to me. On the artist management side, I’ve recently started working with a business partner who runs a music licensing agency. One of the music placement projects we’re working on together is placing music in over 500 Netflix episodes scheduled to air in 2020.

There are a lot of other concurrent projects I’m working on for my artists. To use a football analogy, I work hard to take the football and run it into the end-zone. There are obstacles, of course, but I try to bobble-and-weave past them. I’ve also gotten really good at getting back up after I’ve been hit.

Which artists do you hope to see release on QUEENPIN Recordings? Swipe up and comment below to let me know.


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